Commencement Speakers

Keynote Speaker – Emily Pilloton

The College is pleased to have Emily Pilloton, designer, builder, educator, and founder of the nonprofit Project H Design and its sister program, Girls Garage, as the honored commencement keynote speaker.

Emily Pilloton

Emily Pilloton is a designer, builder, educator, and founder of the nonprofit Project H Design and its sister program, Girls Garage. Using architecture and design as a vehicle for social justice, she works alongside youth ages 9-18 to co-design and build public architecture projects that transform lives and communities. She has built a farmers market with high school students, a playhouse with and for the daughters of abused mothers, a school library designed by its own middle school students, and micro homes for a transitional housing agency. Her work seeks to change the authorship of our built environment and cultivate power in underestimated communities, specifically young girls, undocumented youth, and communities of color.

Emily holds a bachelor of arts in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) and a master of fine arts in architecture, interior architecture, and designed objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a lecturer in the College of Environmental Design at UCB and is the author of three books, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People; Tell Them I Built This: Transforming Schools, Communities, and Lives With Design-Based Education; and a forthcoming book about tools and building for young women.

Her work is documented in the full-length film If You Build It and has been featured on the TED Stage, the Colbert Report, in the New York Times, and presented to the Obama administration's Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House.

Student Speaker – Joselyne Quiróz

Joselyne Quiróz was born in Southern California to Mexican immigrants and has lived in Richmond, California since 2001. As a child, Joselyne began her educational journey in accelerated learning programs and local music schools throughout the Bay Area. These experiences led her to leadership opportunities, which she embraced wholeheartedly. At age 14, she was already giving back to her community in roles as a teaching assistant in preschool music classes and as a peer tutor to students studying English as a second language.

With this background, Joselyne had the experience to become a student leader at College of Marin, serving as club president of Students for Social Justice, as a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action and Zero Textbook Cost Committees, and as a volunteer at the Child Study Center. Her passion for affecting social change and equity is reflected in her work on campus. This desire and commitment helped pave the way for her future as a sociology student at the University of California, Davis, where she will further develop and refine her interests in studying social deviance and urban communities. She intends to use her degree to help shape public policy in hopes of creating a more equitable and accessible world for all.